Review: Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom

August 4, 2016 in Book Reviews, Charity, Short Stories, YA

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom Published by Walker on 4th August 2016
Genres: YA, Short Stories
Format: Hardback
Source: Publisher

Did you know that ... government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? ... that lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? ... that Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years?

Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today.

Contributors include:

*Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell
*Newbery and Carnegie Medal winner Neil Gaiman
*Scottish poet laureate Jackie Kay
*Costa winners Frances Hardinge, AL Kennedy, Christie Watson and Bryan and Mary Talbot
*CILIP Carnegie Medal winners Sarah Crossan and Kevin Brooks
*Australian author Tony Birch
*Irish Book Award winner John Boyne
*Waterstones Prize winner Sita Brahmachari
*Graphic Novel of the Year winner Kate Charlesworth
*Newbury Honor winner Jack Gantos
*Much-lauded Ryan Gattis
*Multi-award-winning Matt Haig, Elizabeth Laird, Bali Rai, Tim Wynne-Jones and Sabrina Mahfouz
*Best-selling Liz Kessler
*Performance poet and singer Amy Leon
*Betty Trask Award winner Chibundu Onuzo
*Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning, currently serving 35 years in US military prison
*Prominent human rights lawyer Jules Carey

Amnesty International have teamed up with Walker Books and numerous bestselling authors to publish a compilation of stories and poems that explore human rights.

Within the pages of this book, you’ll find poems and short stories addressing a huge range of issues from race, identity, exploitation and bullying, to slavery, refugees, beliefs and FGM. This little book packs a huge punch!

Before I go on, I have to first mention the stunning cover of this book, illustrated by Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell. Believe me when I say it’s even more stunning in real life and absolutely captures the contents.

As is the case with any short story collection, I had my favourites, stories that I found incredibly powerful. However every single piece in this book makes an impact. Had I to pick three stories to share, Matt Haig’s The Invention of Peanut Butter, A Suicide Bomber Sits In The Library by Jack Gantos and The Colour of Humanity by Bali Rai would top my list.

This is a truly thought-provoking, emotional collection of works. For a relatively short book this covers a vast amount of ground.

While it may be more aimed at a YA audience, there is absolutely no reason adults shouldn’t be reading it. Indeed, in our current society, where hate is on the rise, I implore all to read this!

I can’t praise this book enough. That such high profile authors contributed to this book speaks volumes about its importance and Amnesty International as a whole.

All royalties from the sale of this book go to Amnesty International, which, personally, I think adds yet one more reason to buy it. For more information about the book see here.



Donate a Care Package or Dinner This Christmas

December 14, 2015 in Charity, Christmas

I am still here, honest! Apologies for my absence, life has been tiring recently and I’ve just not had the energy to post. I did however want to share this with you as it’s only available for the next 21 hours.


itison have once again put together a package with SocialBite where you can donate Christmas dinner to a homeless person in Scotland. It costs £5 and makes sure that a homeless person has somewhere to go and something to eat on Christmas Day.

This year they’ve also introduced a care package of food and winter essentials to be distributed to refugees within Europe. This is also just £5.

I write this wee post as I think this is a fantastic idea. It’s so easy to donate and it’ll just take you a couple of minutes, itison and Social Bite do the rest.

Last year an incredible 36 269 Christmas dinners were donated for homeless people in Scotland. This year, we have the opportunity to offer our support to those in need further afield too.

If you want to buy a care package or Christmas dinner (you can choose on checkout) the you’ll find all the details you need here.

Buy Books For Syria

October 1, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Charity

I’m sure that you’ve already seen this all over social media, but I wanted to put this wee post up in case you’ve missed it. Waterstones have teamed up with the publishing industry to raise £1 million for Syrian refugees. Their campaign Buy Books for Syria launches today. Pop into their stores from today (1st October) and you will find books stickered with “Buy Books for Syria”. In purchasing these books 100% of the retail price goes to Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

Buy Books for Syria

Many publishers have donated books to the campaign, and you’ll find titles from authors such as Ali Smith, Neil Gaiman and Bill Bryson on offer.

If, like me, you tend to buy books as Christmas gifts, now is the perfect time to do so. Your friends and family will receive an awesome present and you’ll know that the funds from the sale have gone to a truly worthy cause.

We’ve already seen Patrick Ness and the bookish world donate hundreds of thousands of pounds help with the Syrian refugee crisis. I think it’s fantastic that the publishing and book selling community have come together to raise more much-needed funds.

Oh, and don’t forget to treat yourself too! ;D

For more details on the campaign check out the Waterstones website.

Authors For Nepal

May 7, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Charity

authors for nepal


You don’t need me to tell you about the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal. Needless to say those affected are firmly in our thoughts.

Today I wanted to draw your attention to Authors For Nepal, an online auction with all proceeds going to one of the earthquake relief funds.

A group of authors have come together to offer an abundance of items including signed copies of their books, their time in the form of mentoring or a critique, naming a character after you in a book… the list goes on.

So please pop over and have a browse of the items on offer (you can find them all on ebay here).  This is such a fantastic idea, one that authors have successfully implemented in the past to raise funds for victims of other natural disasters.

For full information on Authors For Nepal visit the Facebook page, and please consider bidding on some of the fantastic items available – after all it is for a tremendous cause.

International Book Giving Day

February 11, 2015 in Bookish Posts, Charity

So we all know that 14th February is Valentine’s Day, but did you know it’s also International Book Giving Day?


International Book Giving Day 2015

Most children in developing countries do not own books.

In the United Kingdom, one-third of children do not own books.

In the United States, two-thirds of children living in poverty do not own books.


IBGD aims to get as many books as possible out into the hands of children, to make books more accessible to them and to help promote a love of reading. That’s where you and I come in. This Saturday, could you gift a book to a child?

There are various ways to join in. You could:

Gift a book to a friend or relative.

Leave a book in a waiting room, lobby, anywhere where kids have to wait.

Donate a book to a local library, hospital or shelter, or make a donation to one of many charities that work to get books into the hands of children.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be a new book. It could be books your kids have outgrown or books you’ve found in jumble sales or charity shops. The idea is to get a suitable book into the hands of a child.

I know that I couldn’t imagine my life without books. They are one of my escapes from my illness, I can be transported anywhere, anytime, by just opening the pages of a book. It saddens me to think that so many children, both in this country and across the world, do not own a book. So this Valentine’s Day, hubby and I are making a wee donation to Book Aid International as our gift to each other.

If you don’t feel that you can donate, then perhaps you could help by spreading the word? The IBGD website has posters for printing, badges for blogs or you could even just send a tweet (with the hashtag #giveabook) to help the cause.

However you choose to join in, just imagine the look on a child’s face when they get their own book!

There are so many ways you could get involved. For full details visit

I’ve not been asked to post about International Book Giving Day.